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How To Get The Perfect (Fake) Tan

I used to be a weekly spray tanner. Then, when I was pregnant with Hannah I stopped spray tanning, and I’ve only had a a few since then. Although I’ve learned to embrace a far less bronzed look, I jump at the chance to get a tan!

If I had the time and the funds I still be doing my spray tans, however I’ve since come to love at home tans as well, and luckily the quality has improved markedly in the past few years.

So, today I thought I’d detail a few of my best tips to get the perfect fake tan – from how to treat your spray tan to what to wear while tanning, to my fave at home products.

Spray tans

I always get my spray tans done at Lush at New Farm, Brisbane and in my opinion they’re the best around. Dedicated tan rooms and all you could need for a great spray tan.

When I used to tan weekly, I didn’t have anything nearly as nice to tan in, but I always wore black. I’ve since come to appreciate specialist tanning garments – for example the Spray Tan Wear ‘Tansie’ ($70 delivered, or use the code ‘pretty chuffed’ for 15% off!) is just amazing for tanning in winter or rainy days – and best thing is you can sleep in it – so if you’d prefer an 8 hour tan, you can get one without staining your sheets!

If you’ve never had a spray tan before, or have had mixed results in the past, here’s my six top tips to getting a great spray tan:

1. Think ahead. If you have an event Saturday evening, it’s best to book in for the Thursday or Friday night. That way the tan will look more natural and would have fully developed by the event. There is also overnight or rapid tans available now, which means (if getting a rapid tan) you can wash off before bed and no more brown sheets!

2. Go to a reputable salon. It’s important to get spray tanned by someone who knows what they are doing. You do not want a patchy tan as it can be difficult to remove. Ask around, and book in somewhere that specialises in tans. My favourite is Lush Tan and Beauty in New Farm, Brisbane.

3. Exfoliate. The night or day before your tan (or preferably, two days before!) exfoliate your skin using a body wash and an exfoliating glove. Moisturise the day before, but not just before your tan. And, if you wash your hair just before your tan, you must again exfoliate to ensure any soap or shampoo has been removed from your skin.

4. Shave or wax hair the day before. This is to make sure your skin has settled after the removal and the tan will be more even. And hair removal after the tan may remove your tan, too!

5. Wear black or dark colours/prints. I always wore a loose black dress to my tan, however specialist tanning garments are fabulous if you’re a regular tanner.

6. Moisturise! It’s important to keep moisture to your skin to ensure the tan stays nice and even. Moisturising will also make the tan last longer.

Also: if you are breastfeeding, ensure you cover your nipples whilst getting the tan! Nursing pads (stuck straight onto the breast) work well for protecting, or use a thick cream like Bepanthen. You could also wear a normal black strapless bra if you don’t mind lines.

spray tan wear tansie

Wearing the Tansie after my tan – just so you know – it’s so comfy! I may or may not have worn it just *casually* around the house…

Wearing the Tansie in the tanning booth.

After a spray tan.

At home tan

I’ve recently trialled a new range of at home tan, and I love it. It’s called Cocoa Brown by Melissa Carter, and it is FAB! It dries really quickly, it doesn’t smell like other fake tans and what I love most about it (weirdly enough!) is that it goes on green. All the best tans for me are a green based, which means it does not go orange. It also develops in an hour (or you can leave it on longer, as I have).

In the range, I was also sent the scrub, the gel and the mitt to use and I can say they are also really great products and some of the best I have used. What I was surprised about with this range is its affordability – the tan foam is currently on sale for $13.95. It’s also just become available in a dark version which I am going to grab.

To get the best result, exfoliate using the scrub the day before. Moisturise and then the following day, apply the tan using the mitt. Wash off after an hour (or longer if you like the colour a little darker).

Cocoa Brown review

Cocoa Brown tanning foam

Left leg with tan applied (photo straight after applying)

After using Cocoa Brown

Also love the gel tan if you need brown legs in an instant. Great product!

You can buy Cocoa Brown online here or from Malouf Pharmacies.

Do you spray or self tan? What are your top tips for getting a great result? 

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